Most courts consider probation to be the better alternative sentence to time in prison. Therefore, if people intentionally violate the rules of their probation, the court will usually impose a harsher punishment as a result.
Violating probation can often depend on the terms or conditions of your probation. The consequences associated with violations usually also depend on a number of factors, such as the nature and seriousness of the offense, whether you have violated probation before, and whether there are other circumstances that could lessen or worsen the severity of the situation. Likewise, a probation violation could result in significant penalties, such as hefty fines, jail time, extended probation sentence, or more.
Probation can be violated in different ways, such as not appearing during a scheduled court appearance, not reporting to your probation officer at a scheduled time or place, not paying required fines, possessing illegal drugs, and committing other offenses.
Probation officers have broad discretion to issue a warning or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. When deciding, a probation officer could consider the severity of the violation, prior probation violation warnings, and whether you actually intended to violate the probation or did so by accident.
During a hearing, a sentencing judge will hear your case to consider whether you violated any terms or conditions. If a preponderance of the evidence suggests a violation occurred by a likelihood of more than 50%, you will likely be found guilty.
If you’re being accused of violating your probation, talk to one of our skilled Raleigh criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh are dedicated to providing experienced legal advocacy to our clients. Let us see what we can do to defend your rights.